2015 Bezos Scholar Isaac Vaught and educator Mel Coryell focused their Local Ideas Festivals on mobilizing their community through volunteerism, advocacy, and giving back.
After attending the Aspen Ideas Festival, Bezos Scholar Isaac Vaught wanted to use storytelling as a vehicle for empathy building to better meet the needs of his high school community. After brainstorming with his educator, Mel Coryell, the duo settled on empathy building paired with community service for their Festival, Shortridge Service Fest. Shortridge High School is a public IB high school, which means students have some of the most rigorous community service requirements in the district.
The Shortridge Service Fest was held in the spring of 2016 with the goal of getting more students involved with their community by connecting them with local organizations. During the Festival, Dennis Bland of the Center for Leadership Development, gave the keynote speech. Jim Poyser of Youth Power Indiana, Julie Henson of Coburn Place, Maureen Grey of After School Youth Services, and Jane Seib of the Joseph Maley Foundation also spoke on how young people can get involved in their local community. In between talks, students were encouraged to visit booths from the local organizations and enjoyed pizza.